So, I've been posting for the last couple of years about my 90-year-old MIL with dementia who moved in with us from France. She has been living with us for 3 1/2 years - we have bent over backwards to make her comfortable and cater to her every need. We got her a subscription to French TV, make sure her every meal is more than ultra cooked, cut in small pieces, and skinless (she has no teeth), listen to her stories and smile even though we have heard the same ones dozens of times. We have not been able to take much time away due to the difficulty of finding a caregiver who speaks French.
She has multiple health problems - macular degeneration, aortic stenosis, hearing loss, terrible eczema, and most recently fractured neck. She still smokes like a sailor; while she can light up a cigarette with the most incredible dexterity, for the life of me, I can't figure out why she can't put cream on her arms and legs. So my husband puts cream on in the evenings.
My husband is an only son. His mom sits in the front seat when the three of us are in the car. The difficult part for me is that I feel this tremendous tug and pull of her wanting to be the woman of the house; she has a tendency to weigh in on every household matter and is very controlling. I have become much better at asserting my role, but it's been a struggle - French MIL's, and add to that old school marms, are notorious for being rigid and tough creatures.
We are also dealing with our own health issues as well as providing financial and emotional support for our two 20-something adult kids, so are doing double duty.
Anyway, my husband was exhausted today after a long day of work and she kept coming to our room to talk about her taxes. There was no rush in the matter. so he told her he was tired and that everything was under control. She does not process so kept harping on the same points. I know with her dementia, it's hard to retain info.
But MIL stormed off saying that it was the worse mistake she ever made coming here, as she has done dozens of times. This seems to be her go to response when she does not get the attention she feels she deserves.
Five years ago, when they started the immigration process, she really wanted to come. She was emaciated when she came here (she was living on her own and not eating) and has put on 25 pounds since moving to our home. She has more social contact here. And she more often than not has us as captive audience to wait on her hand and foot. With little gratitude.
I generally just let these comments pass but there are times like tonight that I wanted to respond. But I didn't. It makes me feel so resentful and angry especially given all the sacrifices we have made. I feel like we have completely reorganized our lives for MIL and are tethered to her on so many levels.
In my dreams, I would say, " Fine, how about if we get you on the first plane back to France if you want to go back so much." I know, many of you have said in the past, just ship her back, but the truth is that she can no longer fly because of her heart condition. So we are stuck.
It's Valentine's Day and all I can think is how worn out I feel and how MIL has invaded our lives. And I just want to say something that makes me feel comforted when she has a hissy fit, even though I know the communication will likely fail to have any meaningful impact. I'm wondering what would you say or do if you were in my shoes?